At first glance, Rose Park's No. 17, a short par 4, isn't all that impressive. Sort of like your first impression of John Stockton -- off the basketball court. But once Stockton takes the floor against the giants you realize how wrong your first impression was.

So it is with No. 17.At just over 300 yards from the whites you might think you can even drive the green with a tailwind.


It may be short, but like a porcupine, it has its defenses against the long hitter.

Like a narrow fairway. Like trees, particularly along the left where one might be tempted to take a shortcut. Then there's a gully on the right in case you stray too far that way.

So what do you want to hit off the tee?

"Hitting a long iron will put you between 100 to 150 yards (from the green). It's better to hit a target than swing away," says Steve Elliott, head pro at Rose Park. Depending on one's skill level a 3-wood off the tee is also an option.

Even a nicely executed tee shot, however, doesn't assure you of par. The opening to the green is very narrow as large bunkers border it left and right (there's also a nasty little pot bunker behind the big bunker on the right as I've found out from personal experience).

For you approach shot it's better to think hitting long than short to not only take the bunkers out of play but to also allow for the elevated green, Elliott says.

Pin placement then dictates whether you have a chance at birdie or a difficult downhill two-putt for par.